Bio-Inspired Zwitterionic Self-Assembling Molecule for Modification of Targeting Hyperthermia Agent(1/3)

Project Details


Surface self-assembling modifier for nanomaterials provides facile and effective approach to fine tune physicochemical interfacial properties, keep good colloidal stability, enable bio-functionalization and possess environmental responsiveness. However, conventional modifiers based on poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) are susceptible to high temperature and ionic strength, leading to loss of hydration, non-specific adsorption and colloidal aggregation. These problems hamper wide applications of nanomaterials. In this proposal, we will develop a novel bioinspired zwitterionic cysteine betaine (Cys-b) as a surface modifier. Cys-b will be applied to hollow Ag@Au nanoshells as functional hyperthermia agent for targeted delivery to HER2-positive MDA-MB-453 breast cancer cells for hyperthermia treatment. The agent comprises of with strong absorption in a NIR range and bioinspired zwitterionic cysteine betaine (Cys-b) ligand. The hypothesis bases on the fact that the hydration mechanism of PEG-based relies on hydrogen bonding that is unstable at a high temperature, while that of zwitterionic materials on ionic solvation that is insensible to heat. In other words, the Cys-b adsorbates can afford effective antifouling properties, chemical and colloidal stability under the hyperthermia conditions. Therefore, we will prove the targeted therapeutic effect of the anti-HER2 antibody-conjugated Cys-b nanoshells for breast cancer cells. The research will be realized by three directions: 1.synthesis and physicochemical characterization of Cys-b and nanoshells; 2. Development of hyperthermia agent based on Cys-b nanoshells for breast cancer cells; 3. Fundamental investigation and applications of responsive 2D hierarchical Cys-b assemblies; 4. Development of substrate-independent antifouling coatings based on polydopamine. The aim of the study is to establish a novel zwitterionic surface ligand for targeting hyperthermia agent by integrating plasmonic nanomaterials and cutting-edge surface chemistry. The proposed work spams from material design, fundamental physicochemical investigation to biomedical applications. In addition, we will establish the theory of ionic self-assembly as a guiding principal for responsive intelligent biointerfaces. Such an approach sets the stage for advancement in biocompatibility, intelligence and versatility of medical devices. Though materials development, characterization and implementation, we will promote the fields of biomaterials science and technology, promote the core capability of biomedical industries and educate high-level researchers.
Effective start/end date1/08/1931/07/20

UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This project contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water


  • Bio-inspired materials
  • nanobiotechnology
  • plasmonic nanomaterials
  • zwitterionic materials
  • hyperthermia.


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